Friday, August 24, 2012

Climbing Trees

I took my daughter to an amusement park this week.  Not a Six Flags/ Disney/ MegaWorld park, a smaller, local amusement park that she's loved since she was little.  The target audience is the under-7 set, but she begged and begged and I ultimately caved because we had unfinished business up there- specifically, a big old talking tree that we needed to visit.

See, last time we were there (about 2 years ago), we rushed her out of the park at the end of the day for some reason that I can't recall at this point- probably something very adult like Traffic or Bedtime or Mama's just had enough of this place.  Whatever.  In our rushing out, though, it never occurred to us that she really wanted to visit with Grandfather Tree, one of those animatronic trees that tells jokes and stories and says "I love you" and "I'm so glad to see you."  She wanted to see it one more time before we left and honestly, it would have taken 5 additional minutes but I just didn't listen.  I didn't get it until we were gone and she was upset and it hit me:

She's only going to be little for awhile. She's only going to want to see that tree for a little while longer. Soon she'll think it's stupid and lame and she'll want to go to Disney or Six Flags or (for the love of God) the American Girl Doll store.  Why not give her one last chance to stand in front of a talking tree while it says "I'm so glad to see you!  Will you climb up my branches today?"  She can see adolescence from where she's standing and it doesn't look good to her, so who am I to begrudge her a few more minutes of little-kid-hood?

We went.  We rode every single ride.  We ate junk and we took our time and we snuggled and giggled for 8 hours.  And at the end, just as she was noticing that the park wasn't as amazing as she remembered, we spent our last 30 minutes with Grandfather Tree.

It was a really good day.

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